Judge Martin Colin above is an example of many judges who oversee conservatorships and guardianships in America today. They get away with it because the victims are defenseless and easy targets.
James Vassallo can’t stop beating himself up for bringing Elizabeth “Betsy” Savitt into his elderly father’s life.
Savitt is the wife of Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Martin Colin and serves as guardian to his incapacitated father
Not knowing she was married to a judge, Vassallo chose her to protect his father after his brother and sister transferred $180,000 from his father’s accounts.
But under Savitt’s care, his father still lives with his sister, Vassallo has been removed as trustee of his father’s estate and he says he can’t get satisfactory answers from her about how his father’s money is spent.
Vassallo then learned that Savitt settled a $308,000 foreclosure on her home while shepherding his father’s finances.
When he asked about it in court, Colin’s close colleague – Judge David French – abruptly ended the hearing.
“If I knew her husband was a judge, I never would have went with her because whatever I said to her meant nothing. She can do whatever she wants because she has the court’s backing and that is exactly what is happening now,” said Vassallo.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of millions of dollars stolen by criminals wearing black robes of shame and lawyers who prey on the elderly and defenseless.
More News Stories about this
Chief judge shakes up guardianship system after Post series
Florida: Judge, wife benefit from frail seniors’ money, Part 1
Florida: “Judge’s history of debt: Foreclosures, IRS liens” Part 2
Florida: Judge appears to routinely violate Florida Judicial Code of Conduct , Part 3
Florida: Attorney – ‘Courts have allowed this culture’, Part 4
Florida: Chief judges presided over guardian’s divorce while judges take vacations together, Part 5
Editorial: Who’s making sure guardians don’t prey on the vulnerable?
Mother of Judge Colin’s grandson says she fears his influence
Judge picks fight with ex-mobster; history of conflict with wife
This is how dishonest judges who are really criminals get away. They resign and hide under a rock. While they should be arrested, jailed and publicly punished. Back in the day they stoned them or hanged them to instill fear. Today they run away with huge benefits and salaries getting hired by other counties or legal firms.
This is the tip of the iceberg. The guardians hire the most expensive lawyers with the most intimate knowledge of every quirk in the law to represent them (at the ward’s expense of course) because without the lawyers having their back, the guardians would not have the “chutzpah” to attempt of this sort of malfeasance–even if your husband is a probate judge and the judge who hands you all your cases is his buddy and your close friend.
The stench emanating from Probate courtrooms all over the country, and especially in the largest and wealthiest counties in Florida is overpowering to everyone but the Judges who oversee the system and the lawyers and predatory guardians they shield from criminal prosecution.
Thanks to Fl. Sen.Nancy Detert and her determination to make a difference, the passage of SB232 marks a start towards administrative discipline for abuse, but we must go further. Anyone but a guardian who steals as much as they do would be called a criminal and prosecuted. There are already laws on the books that make elder and ward abuse a felony.
Now, State’s Attorneys must answer why not a single predatory guardian or attorney has been indicted. The Supreme Court must answer how they have failed so miserably to provide Florida with justice, protection and trustworthy courts. Chief Judges in Palm County must answer why they have allowed such an obviously improper situation to go on for many years.
Professional guardian Elizabeth Savitt, (below) married to Judge Martin Colin, Many complaints from families of double billing and sending disputes to court to run up fees